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Developing Countries Find Success In Adopting Universal Health Coverage

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Marcelo Giugale, director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa at the World Bank, examines the issue of universal health coverage in developing nations and writes that while the social health care debate rages in the U.S. and Europe, “successful developing countries like Brazil, Chile, China, India and Indonesia have figured out a way forward, and are moving ahead.”

He writes, “First, they have reached a political consensus: if you cannot pay for health care, the government will pay for you; … Second, publicly paid health coverage is being expanded beyond the traditional ‘basic’ package — beyond things like vaccinations, maternal care, and family planning”; and, “Third, while the government may be paying for health services, it is no longer the only provider.” He concludes that “the benefit of living in a society where illness is not a sure path into bankruptcy, or death, must be worth something. The newly developed countries have understood that” (10/20).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.